Uncharitable description of ant - Journal of Omnifarious
Nov. 28th, 2007
03:51 pm - Uncharitable description of ant
Well, some Java guy was annoyed with 'make' not for any of the many reasons people get annoyed with make, but because every time it compiled a Java file it started up the JVM to run the compiler. Starting the JVM ended up taking 4 or 5 times as much time as the compiler run did, so it was very slow. And even worse, make required something other than the most holy and perfect Java!
And this Java guy, being a Java guy, decided that it couldn't be Java that was the problem in this case, it must be make. So he wrote a build tool in Java called 'ant' that used a programming language based on XML (a bletcherous abomination if ever there was one) and invoked the Java compiler by just calling methods on it from within the same JVM ant was running inside so no JVM startup cost was incurred.
Now this horrible spawn of Java, XML and a declarative language for dependencies married to a procedural language for describing how they are updated is called 'ant'. And it's what Java projects everywhere use by default. It is one of the many reasons Java should be shunned.